Culture War on a Shoe String (Budget)
Over at the blog of the author, Sarah Hoyt, there’s a very good post.
I was going to try to use the theme to combine with some conversations from over at Ricochet.com, but then she went and put what I would’ve been pointing at into its own paragraph:
Both of these endeavors will change your perception and you’ll find yourself huffing at sitcoms you used to enjoy. This is good. Most of the politics are snuck into stuff like that (hence the directive that came down for more plots about healthcare in sitcoms and episodic dramas) and if you’re not aware of them they’ll insidiously color the way you see the world. It’s brilliant to sneak them into entertainment because if you complain, you’re a sour puss. But at this point they’re not even subtle, and you’ll start seeing them if you look: cardboard “conservative” characters who are anything but and who can’t defend their positions. “Dangerous” tea partiers. Liberating yourself through having indiscriminate sex and stuff. The government as a fount of goodness. It’s all there. And it’s there on purpose.
There’s more, some general stuff on how the polite refusal to inject politics into everything puts us at a bit of a disadvantage, and it’s quite worth reading. Now, on to my comments:
She’s right. My husband is a lot more easy going than I am, but we both can’t watch some shows because of the obvious agenda involved. Recognizing it isn’t just about paying attention or such– we had a rather long argument with my mother over a TV show that opened with a guy being shot inside his house by a SWAT team called in for a false hostage situation. (Before SWATting got big.) The show, and the woman who taught me to not trust the story that the news presented, held the SWAT team (personified by the leader) responsible. TrueBlue and I held those who certified that it was a hostage situation on an anonymous call from a random number as being responsible– there wasn’t any way for the guys who’d been told they were going in to a known hostage situation to know that the guy charging them with a kitchen knife was righteously defending his house. The guy risking their lives had to be at fault, while the paper-pushers that actually created the entire situation had to be blameless– not even faceless, but as natural a thing as the sun rising, and as unquestioned. Something goes wrong? It’s the fault of those uniformed Authority Figure guys. (Who all incidentally looked military.)
Stories set up the way we see the world.